Friday, 4 March 2011

Stefano Maggi Guest Post - Green Week 2011

Today I am rescinding my duty of chief blogger and handing over to Stefano Maggi who has been a brilliant addition to the Sustainability Team in the form of a Sustainability Communications Intern. Here's what Stefano has to say on Green Week 2011 at the University of Greenwich:

Stefano the Sustainability Team Communications Intern.


The week from 7 to 14 February has been the UK Green Week for the year 2011. And for the first time, the University Of Greenwich has had its own one.

As intern at the Sustainability Team of the University, I have been involved in the promotion and the fulfilment of a series of events which took place in all campuses and aimed at raising awareness regarding several different aspects of sustainability such as recycling, cutting energy usage, drinking tap water, buying local and organic food and, last but not least, car sharing.

Greenwich Council Green Travel stand being set-up at Avery Hill

A significant contribution to the project has been made by the Greenwich Council as well as by other companies or organizations which have participated in the events. Thus, it’s worth to mention and Bywaters - which deals with the University’s waste management and recycling.

Along with the actual organization of these events, a relevant part of the Sustainability Team’s work throughout the latest weeks consisted in running a communication campaign, mostly but not entirely based on the web, in order to spread the word of greenness and foster participation to the Green Week among students and University staff members. Such campaign allowed us not only to make people aware of the Green Week but also to divulge the event plan in details.

One of the Green Week Posters created by Stefano

In doing so, I and my mentor John Bailey have planned some promotional activities to be conducted through social media and the University’s portal as well as the production of some off-line materials.

Precisely, we tried to exploit virtual and physical social networks to reach as many people as we could and make the events visible on and off-line. Through social media like Facebook and Twitter for instance, we have been able to create a partly self-fed flow of information concerning the Green Week and its remarkable purposes. For example, we have created a Facebook event and invited a relevant number of students that invited other students too.

Follow Sust_Greenwich on Twitter
Click here to follow the Sustainability Team on twitter

Furthermore, thanks to the University’s Information Library System department, the Green Week has been allowed to be present both on Students and Staff portal. So, since the portal is accessed daily by most of the people enrolled in or employed by the University, it turned out to be very useful for our target.

Finally, taking advantage of some supporting students’ skills, we also could make use of very nice and engaging posters and fliers that have been stuck around campuses and residence halls.

Heart shaped poster lovingly made by Stefano and his peers

All these activities led to a positive and satisfying response; therefore I can undoubtedly say that the Greenwich Green Week 2011 has been successful. Many students during the three days event have showed their interest in and curiosity about sustainability asking questions, joining competitions and demonstrating their willingness to pledge for a more sustainable life-style.

One of the things that most pleased me has been talking to my peers. That gave me the opportunity to answer their questions, share our thoughts, compare different countries’ life-styles and ask them their opinions about the event and the issues at stake. Moreover, I and all the other members of the team have been able to collect ideas and suggestions on how to enhance the University and its services in order to make them “greener” and more efficient. Then, all these ideas have been handed to the University’s Vice-Chancellor.

Stefano looks over people's ideas to give to the Vice Chancellor

Personally, the Green Week has been an interesting and useful chance for me to learn simple but important things that are too often unheeded. Knowing how much we could save drinking tap water, reading statistics about the dreadful increase of emissions and being aware of the consequences of our non-green behaviours are really essential to comprehend entirely the risks we are heading for.

What we all need to realize is that our life can be lived in a more responsible manner and that a sustainable life-style enriches us and, above all, will benefit the future generations.

So, I have been very glad to take an active part in the promotion of the Green Week and, most importantly, its messages. I have really enjoyed being part of the Sustainability Team and our activities made me feel very proud. I hope that these three days represented only the beginning of a path that will lead to a much more environmentally friendly use of resources and a healthier life.

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